I love baseball because of the crack of the bat, the smell of boiled hot dogs, and the crunch of stale, salted peanuts consumed while watching a game.
I love baseball because of the Bird on the mound, Al Kaline in right, Ernie and Paul on the radio, and Willie Horton throwing a strike to Bill Freehan as he blocked the plate, causing the Cardinals to lose momentum and the Tigers to win a World Series.
I love baseball because it is the perfect game. Everyone, except the pitchers in the American league and too much of the organized game (and that is a true travesty), plays both ways, offense and defense. It ain't chess: it's more than chess. It's inspiration.
I love baseball because me Pops came out on a sweltering summer morning in North Carolina as we visited Mother's relatives one August, when no one else was up and about, even though it was already Noon, and I was tossing a ball up in the air and catching it, and he played catch with me. We threw the ball back and forth for hours, hours, until the sweat burned in my eyes, and I wasn't about to stop, because I was having a catch with my old man and I didn't want that moment to end.
I love baseball. It is the game.